Implications of Madison's Cycling Policies for a Heterogeneous Population
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With the emerging importance of bicycling as a sustainable form of transportation, coupled with its health benefits enhancing quality of life, understanding the ways bicycle policy is being addressed by cities is crucial to its healthy growth. The City of Madison, Wisconsin adopted the Mayor's Platinum Bicycling Committee's Report, "Making Madison the Best Place in the Country to Bicycle" in 2008. The report laid out a number of specific goals with the intent of increasing Madison's bike mode share. This report provided a tangible benchmark from which to assess the city's strategies to meet this goal. Interviews with local activists and a survey of existing riders provided data from a number of perspectives in order to help us analyze the cities bike policies. Four key themes emerged during our assessment - infrastructure, education, safety and community support. Our research has found that Madison has accommodated bicycles in the built environment, but in order to make it the best city in the country a paradigm shift will need to happen changing the way bicycle polices are composed, but also redefining the relationship between Madison's bike community and the larger community as a whole.